This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

Michael Fonfara (leaning against the wall in the photo) passed away last week at the age of 74 from cancer. He was a member of the Downchild Blues Band, and Lance Anderson had him play on recordings he produced including Lance’s 2B3 The Toronto Sessions and for the Cameo Blues Band

Michael was also a member of Lou Reed’s band for many years, Rough Trade, Electric Flag (with Buddy Miles and Michael Bloomfield) and blues super group Rhinoceros. He played on recordings for many other bands and artists, including Foreigner’s self-titled #1 album.

Kerry Doole wrote an excellent detailed obituary for FYI Music News, which details extensively the accomplishments Michael had and the many musicians who he worked with. Here’s a recording of Apricot Brandy, which Michael wrote for Rhinoceros.

Among musicians in Canada Michael was a giant and he will be missed.

Tourism Grants

The Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), of which Orillia is a partner, has non-repayable grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 for small and medium size tourism businesses and not-for-profits.

This money is intended to assist with pandemic expenses like addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, plexiglass barriers, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitizing stations, COVID-19 sanitizer fogging equipment and other items. The definition of what qualifies as being in the tourism sector is:

  • Accommodation (hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds and recreational vehicle facilities)
  • Recreation and entertainment (zoos, museums, theaters, sports facilities, amusement parks, government parks, heritage sites, hunting, fishing or outdoor adventure outfitters, casinos)
  • Food and beverage services (restaurants from fast service to fine dining, as well as pubs, nightclubs, cruise ships and convention centers)
  • Travel service (retail travel agencies, wholesale tour companies, corporate offices with their own booking divisions)
  • Transportation (companies that provide transport by air, land or water, and include airlines, bus companies, taxi companies, ferry services and cruise ships)
  • Not-for-profit enterprises and Indigenous organizations/communities that support tourists
  • Retail stores heavily dependent on tourism may also be considered

The City’s senior manager of business development, Laura Thompson, sent a note saying this is good opportunity for businesses to apply for funding with an eye toward being able to participate in this summer’s patio program, See You On The Patio. She said expenses for the program have to be made by March 31.

Applications can be downloaded here, and the deadline is January 31.

City Grants

The City of Orillia announced some grants from both the 2020 budget year and the 2021 budget this week. There is $32,000 set aside for grants each year and applications can be made anytime, but there are deadlines on the 15th in February, May and October so the grants committee can make decisions and awards periodically through the year. This list is the last of the 2020 grants:

•           Orillia Silver Band  $1,500

•           Orillia Concert Band  $1,500

•           Orillia Terry Fox Run Committee $467.65

•           The Cellar Singers $500

•           Knights of Columbus $500

•           Orillia Jazz Festival $500

Part of the grant program funds are earmarked for festivals and these groups got funding for 2021:

•           Orillia Jazz Festival $2,500

•           Roots North Music Festival $2,500

•           Orillia Perch Festival $2,500

•           Orillia Scottish Festival $1,284

•           Orillia Pirate Parade $2,500

The deadline for festival grant applications is October 15.

Did You Vote?

The Canadian Independent Music Video Awards has opened public voting for their 3rd annual pat on the back.  Bleeker has a video for their tune Problems, and you can vote for it here.

The awards were created by Dropout Entertainment. There are various categories by music genre to vote in. Bleeker is the only area band I could find among nominees. You can vote once each day until January 17. It’s a runoff type of affair and there will be another voting period from January 18 to January 31 with each category thinned to 4 nominees.

(Image Supplied)

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